Natural gas supplies to three plants will begin in 2016 and the work will be carried out by Rusal with US-based BP Energy Company (BPEC) and Sea One AG of Switzerland.

Natural gas will be supplied from the USA under long-term contracts with BPEC and delivered to Jamaica through Sea One’s LNG Lite Marine Gas Monetization System.

The system will liquefy the natural gas at non-cryogenic temperatures at a plant that is expected to be located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and then transported by sea on ocean-going carriers to a planned receiving facility at Port Esquivel. Here the gas will be fractionated and delivered via pipeline to the Rusal refineries.

Cost-wise, Rusal believes that natural gas will prove far cheaper than LNG or heavy oil schemes.

Vladislav Soloviev, first deputy CEO of UC Rusal, said, “We expect that this modernisation will enable us to restart idled Alpart and Kirkvine refineries,” and added that the alumina produced at the plants will supply Greenfield smelters in Eastern Siberia.

According to Soloviev, “Shifting steam production to gas will boost performance of our Jamaican refineries as steam generation forms a great part of our cost of sales.”